Mothers today and then

Mothers today and then-Have Things Really Changed?

Motherhood is a blessing, but is accompanied by several other challenges that often leave mothers craving for some ‘Me time’ or ‘Personal Space’ and most importantly ‘Peace of mind’. I am sure you must have come across several other women who share similar sentiments. Like you, they need to be at the beck and call of their children, soothe them every now & then, spend many sleepless nights alongside their toddlers, breastfeed or bottle-feed their babies from time to time, keep a track of their food intake, clean their poop and the list goes on and on.

While, the elders in your family, especially grandmothers, will claim that they have done it all, there’s no denying the fact that there are a whole lot of difference between how mothers are dealing with children today and how they did then.

Here, we take a look at some of the areas where mothers are experiencing a number of hurdles and changes as compared to yesteryears as well as the major aspects of the natural process of child growth that many are failing to recognize or understand.

Few Allergies, Safe Neighborhoods

In the yesteryears, mothers had to deal with fewer allergies, which meant that their babies did not fall sick very often. Besides, a mother of a toddler would happily send her child to play in the neighborhood parks or areas as they were completely safe for him/her.

Today, mothers are experiencing a tough time in protecting their babies and toddlers from allergies. A research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that allergies due to food consumption has gone up by almost 50% between the year 1997 as well as 2011. Around 90% of the allergic reactions are caused due to food items such as eggs, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish. In addition to this, rising environmental pollution and unsafe neighborhoods are forcing mothers to keep their toddlers at home. Many fear that their children will end up falling sick and thus refrain from visiting the parks or open areas.

Food for Thought

Back then, mothers had few options but to feed their babies with their own milk. Only a limited few took to formula milk or infant milk. However, that scenario has undergone massive transformation. A report released in 2017 stated that only 44 percent of newborns i.e. 12 million among the 26 million babies start breastfeeding right after their birth.

Most of them are fed with formula milk, which is either liquid or powdered milk. In fact, mothers today have a plethora of formula milk options before them such as cow’s milk formula, goat’s milk formula, anti-reflux formula, comfort formula, lactose-free formula, hypo allergic formula and soya formula milk among others. While, scientists around the world have reiterated the many health benefits of breast milk, many mothers fail to recognize the same and are taking to formula feeding simply because they are being made to believe that they cannot produce enough milk for their babies.

Juggling All the Way

Mothers today are juggling a number of things and activities at the same time. In fact, many of them are juggling between motherhood, gym sessions, cooking time, professional life, social life and personal life. They believe in enjoying their lives and not just limit themselves to cleaning dishes or washing clothes, while others in the family, particularly their husbands, continue to spend time outside or worry less about child rearing and household chores.

As opposed to now, mothers then had just their babies or toddlers and home to themselves. While, they did spend time socializing with their friends, but that was never a compulsion. They took to socializing and partying on rare occasions and devoted much of their time to household chores, children and family.

Technology Boon or Bane

Technology has impacted several areas of our lives, including the way we take care of our children. More and more mothers today are handing over their mobile phones, Smartphone and tablets to children to keep them from wandering here and there or simply because they want to keep them busy, while they get to finish their house work or any other important stuff.

This is hampering the mental and physical development of the children in multiple ways. Children are increasingly becoming obese and are learning to throw tantrums. Many are not getting enough sleep, while others are experiencing learning difficulties. Several studies have found that between 0-2 years of age, a child’s brain grows three times in size. In fact, the touch and voice of parents along with some play time can aid their child’s brain development and learning, eventually helping them to bond with parents as well as others.

On the contrary, the previous generation of mothers never had technology to worry about. In fact, they never had social media accounts to keep a track of their social lives, which meant that they spent more time playing with their children and learning along with them.

Conclusion

Given the above scenario, there’s no denying the fact that a lot has changed for mothers today in comparison to the yesteryears. However, in the process, mothers are failing to rear responsible children. Many have become wary of sending their kids out to play in the parks and are finding it easier to hand over gadgets to keep them busy or engaged. Mothers today are juggling a lot, which means they need to slow down and take things one at a time to avoid all the stress. If only, mothers choose to spend more time with their kids, enjoy some weekend time with them and stop juggling too many things at a time, that they will enjoy their motherhood more than ever.

-Puja Bhardwaj

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